There is no question that this season is shaping up to be an intense one in the alpine bouldering areas in the Front Range. Visitors and locals alike have been braving deep snow to visit RMNP and Evans. Particularly important in this regard was Carlo Traversi's ascent of Jade, the 6th so far.
Carlo listed the problem at V14 on his 8a.nu scorecard and has incited a certain amount of discussion on whether this problem deserves V15 or not, a discussion that is academic for most, myself included. I personally had assumed this would see even more repeats by now than it has received so far but it is clear that a number of strong boulders will be seriously gunning for it. Primary among these is Jimmy Webb who updates his blog on his climbing regularly, typically with good video as well. He and Brion Voges, both from the South, are really tearing it up. There is an interview at UKClimbing with them here.
Whether this intensity has to do with Jamie's planned new guidebook, the World Cup in Vail, or what, the interesting part will be whether the Park or Evans can produce a testpiece in bouldering like Jade again. Projects have been mentioned but no clear contender has emerged that I have heard of.
I would like to get up there at some point soon, obviously with much more modest goals than V15. The weather down here is getting intensely hot but the amount of time required to boulder up high is a problem for me. So it's a dilemma. Nevertheless, I find the achievements of this new crew of climbers in Boulder very inspiring and hope to get some time in on the lovely boulders of RMNP and Evans.
It is, by the way, with a certain amount of regret that I see Bjorn Pohl joining up with UKClimbing.com. I really admired the Lowdown as a low key, super-informative independent blog. While I think UKClimbing is and have even contributed to it myself, I like the thought that there are still a number of serious and reliable independent sources of news out there besides the bigger sites. Individuals who take the time to report their efforts and those of others have really transformed the world of climbing media into a much more inclusive and egalitarian enterprise. Hopefully this can persist well into the future.
And now this...